Tuesday, December 30, 2008

SAR #8365

Very few people are interested in voluntarily confronting reality. cryptogon

Pathos: Going wildly in debt far beyond any hope of repayment is what got us in this hole. Bernanke and collaborators claim the way out is through more debt. Which is more pathetic: An economist who knows he is a fraud, or one who doesn't?

The Semitic Wars, Volume 47, Chapter 13 : The Tribe of Abraham has again attacked the camps of their cousins the Palestinians. There are any number of apologists for Israel's brutality and the Palestinians' continued foolhardiness, but the best summary is simply this: It will end poorly, long before it ends.

Indigestion! Kuwait has backed out of a $17 billion joint venture with Dow Chemical, funding being a bit tight in Oil States right now. Too bad for Dow, which had planned to use that funding to pay off its $13 billion in debts from gobbling up Rohm & Hass.

Bad Moon Rising: Some are predicting the USA will erupt and split in six or seven smaller nations. Nope, there is not enough gumption left in the US citizenry to mount a decent protest, much less massive separatists movements. More likely the US will simply thrash around a bit and then fade into irrelevance. Governments will be overthrown, in more places than you might suspect (think Europe). But the US populace will sit in front of the TV, waiting for someone to reward them with their god-given right to happiness and success.

Never Satisfied : First the media was angry at Citibank for just sitting on the TARP funds they hadn't paid out in executive bonuses. Now that they've given $800 million to a South Korean company, everybody is mad at them even more. Can't win.

Two Aspirin: Somehow Obama, working with Bernanke and the new folks at the Treasury, is expected to rescue the US from recession, or at least lead the nation through the next year or two with but mild discomfort. No one should actually suffer, it's not the American way. And massive inflation, like depression, has been banned from the land forever. Call me when its over.

American Dream, II. There's a new reality. America once was about upward mobility. Not any more. Today a third of Americans earn less than their parents did. For that matter, their parents earn today what they did in the 1960's. PS, the rugged individualist is a fraud, too.

Biology 1 Bible 0: Thankfully, nature's urge to merge beats the heartfelt promise of chastity nearly every time. Seems silly to keep making bets you can't win. Sillier to urge others to set themselves up to feel guilty about being perfectly natural reproductive units.

Bake Sale: The US Treasury has to pump out some $2 trillion in debt in 2009. At the current low (verging on no) rates, who is going to buy them? The Saudis and the rest of the oil folks are no longer rich and the Chinese seem to be pushing back from the banquet table. So, other than Aunt Mildred - who lost all her money to Madoff - who is going to buy the magicians' flash paper?

Revealed Truth: It is no secret that the hard-copy daily newspaper is fading away. It will never quite disappear, but is already a walking ghost. Many decry this fate, see it as a turn towards darkness. Part of the mantra of the 'save the newspaper' faction is that Internet bloggers are no replacement for real journalists. Maybe not, but neither are today's newspapers.

Opportunity: Let's start an airport based rental service for clothing, footwear, coats, bathing suits and the other stuff once stuffed into suitcases and lugged to airports. Imagine an on-line rental agency with a selection of freshly laundered items in SML& XL sizes, which you could rent by the day/week at the destination airport of your choice. For a small fee they would supply basic toiletries and personal grooming appliances. All for less than the cost of checking a bag on United Screen Door and Airline, Inc.

Up Ahead: How many of the Alt-A and Option ARM mortgages that reset in the next couple of years are going to fall off the table? Many, many, if they were from WaMu during the "a thin file's a good file" period. Ah, the Twilight Zone.

5 comments:

Jesse said...

That is so well phrased and correct, that I wish I had said that. LOL.

"Some are predicting the USA will erupt and split in six or seven smaller nations. Nope, there is not enough gumption left in the US citizenry to mount a decent protest, much less massive separatists movements. More likely the US will simply thrash around a bit and then fade into irrelevance. Governments will be overthrown, in more places than you might suspect (think Europe). But the US populace will sit in front of the TV, waiting for someone to reward them with their god-given right to happiness and success."

The Anecdotal Economist said...

Sounds like Professor Panarin re-read Philip Dick's 1962 alternative future novel "The Man in the High Castle," which envisioned a U.S. split in two by the victorious WWII Axis powers (Japan -west, Germany - east), and changed the names of the superpowers.

But there is no doubt that if the U.S. populace is sitting in front of the TV, it will be to watch "Dancing With the Stars" or "American Idol," not the televised demise of their country.

And I think the California Governator would be more likely to seize Alaska before those pesky Russians could get it.

Why would the separate regions need to be overseen by foreign interests anyway? More likley they would coalesce by Fed district or Baby Bell footprint.

God knows there's enough guns in Texas and Oklahoma to keep the Mexicans out. Besides, the Mexicans are running out of oil anyway, so it would be more likely Texas would take over Mexico.

What is more ominous is the traction such a alternate future is getting in other parts of the world. You'd think half the planet was mad at us or something.

Gary Near Death Valley said...

I agree with you concerning what you stated in "Bad Moon Rising". The American public could not split the country for hell or high water. Dummed down Americans from the US school system, has taught, don't do anything, government will take care of you. But where do I sign up I want to be part of the western side (live in Nevada), but the splits sound good to me. Too bad it wont happen!

Anonymous said...

Wasn't there a book out some years back, "The Nine Nations of North America"...? Probably where this Russian prof got the idea.

CKMichaelson said...

Nine Nations, 1981, Joel Garreau of the Washington Post. Available used for about $2.
ckm